Dundalk 1-0 Waterford
You would have been forgiven going into Friday night’s match for being distracted. If all the off the field drama and upheaval was all you talked or thought about before kick off? You certainly weren’t alone.
Once the whistle blew and the circus clown masquerading as a referee got the game underway, once the inevitable sea of pyro from the shed ignited, once an actual honest to god football match began we were reminded that this was the biggest match of the season and it was vital, absolutely vital that Dundalk got the win.
They did get the win with the type of performance that makes it ever so hard to believe just how bad they have been at times this season. It was a one goal victory but it could and probably should have been a lot more.
Post game the talk inevitably returned to takeovers and contracts and rumours and who said what and who wants what. What will they do if they take over? Who will they hire as manager? Will they sort out the pitch? Will they bring Sing-Li back?
Without doubt, over the next week or so, there will be an avalanche of misinformation, of spin, of barely believable nonsense. People who you know to be of sound mind reporting things to you that leave you beyond baffled.
There will be some people who will genuinely have heard a rumour that they believe that they will repeat to you. What you chose to do with that information is up to you. You can ruminate on it, decide it makes no sense, dismiss it outright and just smile and nod. Or believe it and pass it on to someone else.
When rumours and information come from somewhat reputable sources it can be harder to just dismiss it as harmless.
Last time, I wrote about how Peak6 will know what we think. They do listen, they are aware of how we feel and what we want. They’re not the only ones who know what we want.
If you were trying to takeover a football club and you knew public opinion was against you, what would you try to do? Football is a dirty game behind the scenes and a lot more people have an agenda or have an axe to grind or have connections than you would believe.
If you were losing the PR battle what would you do? Get the word out that you’re not the worst? “Actually, we’re not that bad if you get to know us and look what we’re going to do if we take over” while proceeding to parade their plans for the future like it’s a speed boat at the end of Bullseye.
I have to say also that this applies to all parties. Just because we want a particular party to take over, that doesn’t mean they get a free pass. And we all need to be realistic about what would happen if we’re taken over by the local consortium.
The other option, if you were losing the PR battle is to discredit. To sling mud and shit all over the other parties. There have been attempts to paint the dressing room as a breeding ground for discontent. Discontent that was quickly and swiftly dismissed by Brian Gartland.
Maybe I’m cynical, maybe I’ve watched too much TV, maybe I think the worst of people but I would be shocked if that was the last attempt to discredit or spin or change the narrative.
We all need to be careful and keep our eyes open, so that if we hear negative stories about individuals, if we hear negative seeds being sown, if we hear nonsense and slander that we ask the question of where the information is coming from and who is providing it.
We made our voices heard, we got the word out, we made it known to anyone who will listen that we want the club to return to local ownership.
I saw some people over the past week say ‘they weren’t complaining when they were winning titles and Peak6 were paying the biggest wages in the league’. Of course we weren’t complaining, we were too busy celebrating. Fuck you. But there was plenty of suspicion and skepticism when the takeover was happening.
We were skeptical and now we’ve been burned. The foundations for the future were there to be laid, to continue domestic domination and now that those plans are in ruins we’re need to make sure we don’t get further away from what this club means.
We need to be careful of people looking to exploit the hurt we’re feeling. People that might look to stir and twist and spin. People that would look to divide our fanbase by creating obscene rumours.